Healthier Together

Healthier Together – Single Services

How Will My Hospital Work?


Our plans for improving hospital care, includes creating four shared ‘single services’. 


What specialisms do our hospitals offer?


All hospitals in Greater Manchester specialise in providing certain types of care and four hospitals will provide specialist abdominal (tummy) surgery.

Right care, Right place, Right time - saving more lives

What is in the scope of the hospital care element of Healthier Together?

A&E – Accident and Emergency, the hospital department where people with serious illness are assessed and treated. 

Acute Medicine – the area of medicine that treats adult patients with a wide range of conditions who arrive in hospital in an emergency and need immediate specialist care.

General Surgery – abdominal (stomach) surgery, both emergency and planned operations. It also includes the assessment and treatment of patients with abdominal pain. For example, surgery on your stomach or bowel.

What is not in scope and therefore not changing? The services not in scope include Maternity services, Inpatient Children’s Services and treatment for heart attacks or strokes. Other specialist services are also not included such as cardiac, cancer, orthopaedic, stroke, transplant etc.


The Single Service Model

Under the Healthier Together hospital plans to drive up quality and safety, ‘single services’ will be formed – networks of linked hospitals working in partnership. This means care will be provided by a team of medical staff who will work together across a number of hospital sites within the single service. All hospitals within the single service will be improved. It is estimated this could save up to 300 lives a year across Greater Manchester. You can see how this will work in an infographic by clicking here.

What does this mean for me?

Here's a case study

What happens now? On a Friday evening Pat, who is 65, has sudden very severe pains in her tummy. She is in agony so her husband calls an ambulance. The paramedics assess Pat and take her to her local A&E. It is a Friday evening and no consultants are working so she is seen by a junior doctor. A&E is busy so she waits 3 hours for a scan. Once the scan arrives the junior A&E doctor calls the junior surgeon on call. The junior surgeon reviews the scan and can see a blockage – Pat needs an emergency operation. By this time it is 7 hours since Pat’s husband called the ambulance. Pat will need an intensive care bed after her operation, however there are none available. At 11am the next morning, a routine operation for another patient is cancelled so that Pat can have her operation. It is now 17 hours after the ambulance was called. Unfortunately, some of Pat’s bowel has died and she has to have a portion removed. She has to have a colostomy bag for the rest of her life.

What will happen? On a Friday evening Pat, who is 65, has sudden very severe pains in her tummy. She is in agony so her husband calls an ambulance. The paramedics assess Pat and identify that she needs to a see a surgeon. They take her to the nearest Specialist A&E, this is not her local hospital.

At A&E she is assessed by a consultant surgeon and immediately taken for a scan less than 1 hour after calling the ambulance. The consultant surgeon identifies a blockage on Pat’s scan and calls his colleague to prepare the operating theatre. Pat is taken to theatre and is operated on by a consultant surgeon with a consultant anaesthetist. The blockage is removed and Pat is taken to intensive care to be monitored. She is intensive care for a few days but makes a full recovery.

Treating specialist patients like Pat in a smaller number of Specialist hospitals will ensure that paitents like Pat:

- Are seen quickly by a consultant surgeon

- Can get a scan quickly and be operated on quickly to improve chances of a full recovery

- Can recover in an intensive care bed.

This means patients like Pat are less likely to have life changing outcomes like a colostomy.

Why do we need a single service?

  • To maintain the skills of A&E staff and surgeons in caring for the sickest patients
  • To allow the standards for the care of the very sickest patients to be met every time
  • To reduce the number of routine patients whose operations are cancelled for emergency patients
  • To share best practice between hospitals


Take a look here at how the shared single service will work...


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